April Zajko, M.Ed, is an experienced nature-based educator and serves as a professional development leader, college faculty member, and educational consultant. April works to support educators to bring nature-based approaches to life in their classrooms. April brings straightforward practical knowledge, rooted in best practices, with humor and tales from the classroom to all her course offerings.


For additional course
or registration information,
please contact Karina Weiss.

Teacher Training

Professional development offerings at the Fairbanks Museum are designed by experienced educators to provide rich science content for school teachers and non-traditional classroom educators.

Outdoor Classroom Development for Educators

3 college credits from Vermont State University (Graduate or Undergraduate)

Deadline to register: July 15, 2024

Format: Online

  • Zoom synchronous meetings (or watch the replay)
  • Self paced modules of content and submission of work

Course Dates: August 1 – December 15, 2024 (All assignments must be turned in by December 15, 2024)

Times: This online course will be taught using a FLEX model. There will be FIVE Zoom sessions that students are encouraged to attend in real time. Each session will be recorded and uploaded so students can also watch at their own pace, if preferred.  Monthly Zoom sessions will be on Monday evenings from 6-8pm. 
(Dates: August 12th;  September 9th; October 14th; November 4th & Dec 2nd) 

Cost: $1,100

Course Description:
Many educators are motivated to take children outdoors for unique learning opportunities.
This course provides step-by-step guidance in
creating an outdoor space that supports learning for all children. This course will help
educators develop a vision of the outdoor learning space that would best support their
students. We will define terms related to outdoor classrooms, explore ways to integrate nature
based learning, explore how to develop a team for creating an outdoor classroom, define
obstacles and explore strategies to overcome barriers. Participants will explore the
developmental benefits of outdoor classrooms and learn how to communicate these benefits
to parents, administrators, and other stakeholders. Research confirms that learning outdoors
promotes child development and learning in all domains (physical, cognitive, and social
emotional) and outdoor learning can be a powerful teaching tool to support all learners. By
understanding the benefits of outdoor learning, participants will be equipped to share
information with stakeholders about the value of creating nature inspired learning spaces and
will create an action plan for implementation. Once stakeholders understand how outdoor
classrooms positively impacts student growth, development, and learning they will be more
confident in investing time and money into building or expanding the outdoor learning space.
This unique course will equip educators with practical and affordable tools to develop their
own outdoor classroom and will build their confidence and skills in effectively teaching

Audience: Educators and administrators who want to promote outdoor learning by developing
an outdoor classroom